Castelo Rodrigo – The Secret Historic Village on the hill

 

 

Our visit this morning would be to Castelo Rodrigo.  This was a surprise as we were to have visited the Coa Valley. Apparently the dock for the Coa Valley was closed.

Castelo Rodrigo is one of the  historical hill top villages in Portugal.  I hadn’t heard of this place at all.  Once I was back home researching to write this post I found very little  on this village.  It seems it is a secret and a lovely one at that.

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The doorways always amaze me

 

 

I did however manage to find  out that   there are roughly 50 people that still live here amongst the ruins of the castle.

 

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I love how they have their clothes line right against the stone walls.

 

A little Bit of History

 

There used to be 13 towers and a patrol path that surrounded the castle.  The path now has some new homes built over it.  Romans and Moors  occupied Castelo Rodrigo. It belonged to Spain in the 11th Century.  Handed back to Portugal in 1297 when Treaty of Alcañices was signed.

The Moors initially and for a long time were considerate about a person’s religion. Then the Moors were expelled and Spain issued a decree in 1492 in Salamanca requiring Jews to wear yellow cloth to show their religion. It was the first sign of religious discrimination in Spain,  Jewish people left in a hurry. Many came to those remote hilltop villages on the Portuguese border. Many Jewish families adopted safe surnames: trees, towns, animals, jobs, guilds.”

The Spanish inquisition came to Portugal in 1496, 2 years before the discovery of the sea route to India by Vasco da Gama. “It was not only the Jews who were persecuted No other religion other than Catholicism was allowed.

In Portugal they have a census every 10 years and forbidden subjects are religion and skin color.

 

 

As we approached this village our guide asked the bus drivers to stop so we could get some photos. On the hills surrounding the village were almond trees, olive trees and vineyards.

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The village of Castelo Rodrigo

 

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The entrance to the historic village of Castelo Rodrigo

 

 

 

 

The old Cisterna- that served as a water tank for the village.

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Cisterna

 

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Our guide in front of the Cisterna

 

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Inside the Cisterna

A neighboring house joins onto the Cisterna and is called “Casa da Cisterna” an accommodation of nine rooms.  If you want to stay in this village perhaps you can stay there.

On our walk around the village we were lucky enough to go  inside the beautiful but small Parish church.

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Parish Church

 

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Bell Tower of the Parish Church

 

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See the skulls in the Altar

 

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The Alter in the Parish Church

 

 

The doorways into homes the homes are small.  Were the people smaller than they are today?  Apparently the doors were small to stop invaders entering on horse back into the homes.

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Typical doorway

 

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A lot of windows and door had Moorish writing engraved into the stone

 

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Stunning views

 

 

Once our tour of the village was finished we were taken to one of the restaurants for a tasting of local food, almonds and wine.

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Free Tasting!

 

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Our lovely hostess – gee I love her scarf!

The Europeans certainly know how to put on a spread.  Two large tables filled with food. 3/4 of the tables were almonds.  Plates and plates of almonds presented all different ways.  Sweet, savory and spicy almonds.  It was eat as much as you wanted and I did.  I couldn’t move from the spot.

 

 

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Almonds – presented all different ways

Mere mention of Liqueurs and wine…that got me moving.

They said we would be given a taste!  No one said several tastes of all the alcohol.  The serves were quite decent too.   Why not the  whiskey helped me so why not the liqueurs.

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I tried everyone one!  Liqueurs – Probably why some of my photos are blurry

 

 

Before we headed back to our ship we browsed the two shops for souvenir’s .  I bet your wondering what it was I purchased?

If you said Almonds you would be right!

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Some of the products you can purchase

 

All the products were made in Portugal.  Its so lovely to be able to buy locally made products.
Im so glad I decided to go with everyone and visit this wonderful village.
Isn’t it amazing what a few days on antibiotics can do!
*More photos will be on Instagram*

 

 

55 Replies to “Castelo Rodrigo – The Secret Historic Village on the hill”

  1. I love these quaint little villages that are filled with so much history. That little church was just gorgeous – and all that food! The sun appears to have been shining the whole time and it sounds like you had a fabulous time.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, so beautiful! I think last time I dropped by I mentioned that it’d always been my dream to spend a significant amount of time in Italy once I was retired (well, once my mother has passed away). After visiting Italy last year – though I loved it, I realised the fact I speak some very basic Portuguese might mean that living in Portugal might be easier. But I know sooooo little about the country. I love some of these places you’re visiting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a shame about the change of plans from Coa Valley, but Castelo Rodrigo looks fascinating. I think the minimal coverage online on the place adds to its intrigue, and you’ve managed to get some fantastic photos to capture its essence. They’re certainly fans of almonds there, and it’s a generous spread for free tasting when it includes some tasty alcohol to wash it down 😉
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

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